A question about the James Rifle (Cannon)

Hussar Yeomanry

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#1
While I thought myself reasonably knowledgable about Civil War artillery I have a question.

While doing some research about the Army of Northeastern Virginia I kept coming across the use of the James Rifle (a weapon that would be phased out of the later Army of Potomac). While I was aware of it, in all the records that I have found it appears as the 13pdr James Rifle. Wikipedia - that well known font of all knowledge - claims that this would be a 14pdr weapon and that really it is the shell that makes it a James Rifle (if I am reading the article right).

So, is it a 13pdr or a 14pdr weapon? (I'm aware its not much of a difference but I am interested in learning the truth - I assume it is somewhere in between, but what would a purist call it?)
Is it the shell that makes a difference?
Was there a reason it was phased out of the AoP? I assume the Parrott and the 3 inch Ordnance rifle were superior (though if Henry Hunt had got his way then the Parrott would have gone too)
 

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#2
The James was a 14 pound (3.8") shell/bolt that came in a variety of types up to a 7" er. The James was not actually a cannon, but a type of rifling method that could be used on either bronze or iron guns. Charles Tillingast James was a US Senator and Major General in the Rhode Island Militia and the developer of the shell/bolt and the rifling system. The guns fell out of disfavor because the rifling in the bronze guns wore out quickly and the shells/bolts tended to shed their lead sabot shortly after firing endangering friendly troops. The shells/bolts are sought after by collectors because they somewhat resemble a merry-go-round. The spiral lower area was covered by a lead/canvas/tin covering and there is a pristine James Cannon in the Corinth NMP Visitors Center. Photo from www.civilwarartillery.com

FAOiiia99 (2).jpg
 
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Hussar Yeomanry

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#3
Thank you. I will definitely try to remember that they are 14pder's not 13. Thank you also for why the AoP decided to standardise on other weapons. I assumed there was a reason, just didn't know what it was.
 
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Thank you. I will definitely try to remember that they are 14pder's not 13. Thank you also for why the AoP decided to standardise on other weapons. I assumed there was a reason, just didn't know what it was.
Strangely enough, the James shell/bolt is the only Civil War projectile that interests my wife; because she thinks that it is "interesting".
 

ucvrelics

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#5
@redbob is spot on. We also refer to the sabot as the bird cage which was covered with a sheet of either tin, lead or canvas the thin sabot would expand into the rifling, and then be discharged after the projectile left the bore. This meant that there always be flying metal debris which could be a problem for forward troops.
1547513427328.png
 

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